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Polis submits supplemental budget request with $495M in additional spending

Gov. Jared Polis’s office submitted a supplemental budget request to state lawmakers on Tuesday that includes more than $495 million in additional spending and tweaks over two fiscal years.

The request includes increases of $236.6 million in general fund expenditures and $258.4 million in cash funds.

Polis’s office says the request builds on the previous $40 billion budget request for fiscal year 2022-2023, which the governor submitted to the General Assembly’s Joint Budget Committee (JBC) in November.

Some of the additional funding priorities include education, fee relief, public safety, and air quality, according to a letter the governor sent to leaders of the JBC.

The supplemental request asks to use more than $63 million of general fund expenses to provide fee relief for vehicle owners and delay the implementation of the road usage fee included in Senate Bill 21-260, the massive transportation funding legislation the governor signed into law in June.

The governor’s office said this request will save “every Colorado vehicle owner $11.10 on their annual vehicle registration, putting money back in people’s pockets during the state’s economic recovery.”

SB 21-260 created new fees concerning electric motor vehicle registrations, purchases of gasoline and diesel fuel, retail deliveries, passenger ride services, and short-term vehicle rentals. It also indexes fees to the greater of the inflation or the national highway construction costs index.

The request also seeks to use $6.5 million from the general fund to increase the per diem rate for employees of private prisons. Gov. Polis’s letter says this expenditure will allow CoreCivic, one of the largest private prison employers in the country, to “hire and retain more experienced staff.”

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